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Plane Carried At Least One, Possibly Seven, German Scientists With AM-Plane Crash, Bjt

December 9, 1987

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A prominent West German scientist was among the victims of the Pacific Southwest Airlines crash that killed 43 people, the man’s employer said Tuesday.

Ian Axford, director of the Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy, identified one of the victims as Wolfgang Studemann, a physicist and space scientist at the Lindau-based institute and a resident of Goettingen, West Germany.

Studemann died en route to the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting in San Francisco when PSA Flight 1771 crashed and exploded on a hillside.

Vice consul Hans Zeitler of the West German consulate in Los Angeles said there two other Germans on the plane; Axford said they were not scientists headed for the geophysics meeting.

Earlier reports that six or seven West Germans were aboard were incorrect, Zeitler said. Two consulate staffers were sent to San Luis Obispo to help identify the German victims, the diplomat added.

Studemann was 47 or 48 years old, married, and had a teen-age daughter and son, said Wolfgang K.H. Schmidt, an institute physicist attending the meeting.

Duncan Bryant, of Britain’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, said that as a physicist, Studemann ″was extremely energetic, with a great concern for detail in his experiments.

″He always carried a notebook with him. He was a first-rate experimentalist and a very pleasant person,″ said Bryant.

Axford said Studemann was fairly well known among scientists who study Earth’s atmosphere, the overlying layer of electrically charged particles and solar winds in space - the main subjects of research at the Institute for Aeronomy.

Studemann ″was involved in the most advanced projects in this field,″ including studies of the magnetic fields surrounding Earth and Jupiter and experiments planned for the upcoming U.S. Galileo space probe to Jupiter and the joint U.S.-European Ulysses space probe, which will orbit the sun’s poles, Axford said.

Fred Spilhaus, executive director of the Geophysical Union, said the group would hold a memorial for Studemann during the meeting, which drew 3,800 scientists from around the world.

″It’s a personal tragedy and a scientific tragedy,″ he said.

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